Monday, March 24, 2014

Saranac Prism White Ale


3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1069) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 24, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Saranac shaker glass. It was bottled on 1/6/14 and cost $1.83 ($0.15 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale shade of light yellowish-orange. Hazy body with particulates in suspension. Pours to a one-finger, bright white, frothy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Sweet orange and peach scents akin to chewing gum or candy.

Taste: Saranac has really been stepping up their game lately with more experimental brews. Though they tend to make beer that will have broad appeal, rather than niche. I recently took a tour of their brewery and sampled the Prism White Ale, which was surprisingly tasty. Though they don’t mention it on the label or the website, I’m informed it’s brewed with added peach juice. This isn’t surprising considering the fact that flavor seems to dominate the palate, though it does come across as a bit simplistic. I’m not sure why the brewery doesn’t market it as such.

Much like the nose, the flavor is lightly sweet and quite similar to that of gum or candy. The peach flavor is prominent from start to finish, though it doesn’t taste sugary, rich or cloying; nor does it taste genuine. There is some genuine bitterness on the second half – a lightly dry sensation with a touch of pepper or spice right at the end. Technically a Belgian White, this beer doesn’t really drink like one and is probably better classified as a fruit beer. Personally, I enjoy the flavor and I could see it being appealing to a lot of people who aren’t expecting authenticity.

Drinkability: At only 5.2% ABV, Saranac Prism White Ale is rather light for a craft beer, though I wonder if it couldn’t be even lighter. If peach is used as a flavoring rather than a fermentable, why not cut back on the base malt to lighten the weight and the body to make it more sessionable? The mouthfeel is smooth with light carbonation to keep it crisp, but not flat or thin. The aftertaste is clean and the beer is definitely refreshing – even in the dead of winter. 
Grade: 7/10